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Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness Paperback – July 16, 2011
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"A comprehensive and rich teaching that combines skillful instruction and scholarly knowledge. Minding Closely draws on wisdom from both Theravada and Vajrayana traditions to offer a systematic and practical approach to liberation through mindfulness."—Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart
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Top Customer Reviews
In Minding Closely, B. Alan Wallace finds a precise, articulate balance between conveying traditionally inaccessible concepts with simple mindfulness that isn't too light on the heritage from which it sprang thousands of years ago. If we are too succeed in finding liberation we need to understand what the microscope is looking at within, what's in the mirror before us, and what the telescope may behold. This book does a fantastic job of making the harder points sensible, while at the same time, guiding the reader to effective practices.
I'm on my second read and still mining gems.
The book focuses on the satipaṭṭhâna meditations, commonly translated as the "Four Foundations of Mindfulness". This is a form of vipassana or insight meditation that goes right back to the Buddha's teachings in the Pali Canon. The Buddha stated that this form of meditation is the direct path to enlightenment - which sounds good to me since I am definitely not getting any younger!
What I like most about Minding Closely is that it presents more than just the basic techniques. Yes it provides clear instructions and detailed discussion of the core satipaṭṭhâna practices as one would expect. But in addition, it gives instructions on other vital meditations from both the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.
These additional techniques include shamatha, based on mindfulness of the breath, which is considered by the author to be an indispensable prerequisite to the satipaṭṭhâna meditations. Also the metta or loving-kindness meditation is recommended for the development of compassion. Then, towards the end of the book, the author introduces what he calls Open Presence meditations, which are I believe part of the Dzogchen practices. All of these are woven skillfully together into a full program that could easily keep you occupied for the rest of this life and, if you believe in rebirth, several more to come.
I have only met Alan Wallace on one occasion. Several years ago I attended a weekend meditation retreat that he led here in Santa Barbara County where I live. But I can tell you from that brief encounter that he is the real deal.Read more ›
This book is well written, complete in thought and well constructed in clear and concise language so much so I have to really think about what was just said and let it sink in fully. There is a "thought density" to it that makes it rich like a heavy chocolate cake that can sit on your tongue and tantalize taste buds.
I hope this review does not turn anyone off to picking it up in their study of mindfulness. It is not some staid tome written by an intellectual bore. It is beautiful and strong.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read about 2/3 of Wallace's books and this is my current favorite. For me it filled in some gaps in my understanding of both meditation and buddhism. Read morePublished 2 months ago by lpet
Clear, beautifully written and accessible. Wonderful for anyone, completely new or aseasoned practitioner, seeking guidance to the practice of mindfulness meditation.Published 3 months ago by Zenjoy!
Guides you very clearly and slowly thru the different stafes of meditation and thru the four applications. Very useful if tou ehant to move in the pathPublished on May 10, 2013 by Mario Martinez-Garcia